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Trying new things can be scary whether it’s painting, cliff diving or one of the seemingly infinite battle royale games out there. Questioning whether you have the skill necessary before you buy a brush, a pair of Speedos or a season pass is a common concern. But diving in is part of the fun and with the likes of Apex Legends or PUBG it’s literally half the battle.
Further Reading: Fortnite Battle Royale | The Game That Will Be King.
Picture it: 20 squads of three players each are soaring above an island home to futuristic artillery bases, ancient deserts and muddy swamps. At least 57 of these players will either be beaten, blown up or shot to death over the next 20 minutes. Some will die weaponless and panicked in a violent ruck. Others will fall in protracted firefights between two squads or more. More still will burn to death outside the security of the ever-shrinking safe zone. Three players will win but only one can be champion. It might sound unfair on the other 59 – especially those that worked alongside the eventual Champion – but that’s life, that’s Apex Legends.
Apex Legends is the newest and fastest growing game in the battle royale genre. With a cap of 50 million players in its first month Apex Legends is well on its way to catching up with Fortnite Battle Royale which has been played by 250 million people and earned $2 billion dollars in its 18 months of existence. The originator of this phenomenon PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) seems to have fallen by the wayside though it still boasts millions of players. Of course the battle royale genre is popular outside of gaming with the likes of The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner trilogy but it really began with the popular Japanese B-movie Battle Royale.
Like the teenagers in Battle Royale the key to success in the games mentioned above is ingenuity, innovation, improvisation and a big splash of bravery. Sure being able to improvise on the fly or innovate during an ambush are core skills but it all means nothing if you can’t get up and go. Where’s the fun in sneaking around the edge of a circle hoping for a lucky shot? That’s not fun that’s a missed opportunity. Games like Apex Legends, PUBG and Fortnite can be easily analysed but it’s even easier to fall into over-analysis.
This is part and parcel of playing a new game, especially a shooter. Battle royale shooters tend not to give you many hints about what guns are good or not. Sure you can check the stats of the infamous Kar ’98 on the PUBG wiki but where’s the fun in that? Apex Legends and Fortnite are a little more forgiving as their default settings allow you to see the damage indicators pop up as you land shots on an enemy. These games encourage you to learn on the fly. Everyone knows to avoid the Mozambique shotgun in Apex whereas only a few seemed to know that Crater is a relatively safe, loot-rich area on the PUBG map Miramar.
What these games can’t teach you is how to be brave in your playing.There’s really only one way to learn how to be brave and that’s by winning. In order to win most players that aren’t on the level of Ninja or Dr DisRespect will have to die a lot. But even the best have died countless times. Part of being the best is being brave. It’s deciding on jumping with the five other squads onto the roving supply ship in Apex Legends. It’s tactically storming a sniper’s nest in PUBG. It’s hanging back before moving in to mop up a heavily damaged duo in Fortnite. Remember:
A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.
What the above means in relation to battle royale games is that you can spend ten games creeping through cramped, abandoned houses and rushing across vast open plains and not have any fun. Or you can play one game of Apex, rack up eight kills and end with a photo finish. I know because I did both. Now all I do is strive for the latter. It happened to me once before and I know it will happen again. Games are always teaching us. We may occasionally fluke our way to victory but it’s more common that the knowledge of appropriate weapons combined with hard earned skills and a decent amount of focus will grant you victory. Death is only temporary in battle royale games. There’s nothing stopping you from dropping into a new game 30 seconds after you went out in a blaze of glory or splutter of ignominy in the last one.
Further Reading: Apex Legends is the New Battle Royale to Beat.
Bravery is half the battle. With anything else other than games if you don’t try you won’t fail but you can still be playing the game and also not be trying. Skulking in tall grass hoping for a lucky head shot on the last enemy is a great strategy until it’s your twentieth game and it still hasn’t worked. Maybe eventually you’ll get a win but it won’t feel as good as when you throw yourself into the heat of battle and come out the other side your trusty shotgun in one hand and a Victory Royale in the other. Like a great man once said: “Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose”. Be focused, be brave, be victorious.